BHUBANESWAR: BJP leaders today accused the BJD regime in Odisha of trying to make political gains from the Asian Athletics Championship to be held here from July 6 and confining it to a coterie.
"Odisha Government is confining the international sports event to its coterie," senior BJP leader and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram alleged.
He claimed that the BJD government was not allowing others to play any role in the run up to the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship.
The BJP leader said that he has been invited to the event but might not attend it because of other engagements.
BJP state unit general secretary Prithiviraj Harichandan alleged that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's photos were being used in advertisements of the athletics meet showed that BJD was trying to derive political mileage out of the mega event.
Rejecting the allegations, state's Sports Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera said that leaders should refrain from politicising the issue.
The international sport meet is a matter of pride for the state and all should rise above politics and work together to ensure success of the event, he said.
Organised by the Asian Athletics Association, the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship will be held in Bhubaneswar from July 6 and 9.